B2B vs B2C startups

July 12, 2018View on twitter

Between selling Twitch and starting Atrium, I’ve thought a lot about how B2B compares to B2C - favorably, in my opinion.

1/ In B2C, you have to ride a massive wave to become a success. This is more than just being good at building a company: you also have to be very lucky. Google, FB and Twitter all rode massive waves.

2/ B2B, however, is in your own control. The problems are known. You can just ask businesses what their problems are and make products to solve them.

3/ Consumers aren’t able to tell you what they’ll want, which makes B2C products a shot in the dark. Look at Snapstreaks. A customer would never have said, “I want to be notified of how many days in a row I’ve messaged my friends so I can try to keep the streak alive.”

4/ The parameters for enterprises (B2B) are much more straightforward. A B2B customer has two questions: a) Does this solution actually solve my problem? b) Is it an important enough solution that I will pay for it?

5/ In B2C, it is hard to know if things are working. For consumers, you could create a product that’s a massive hit one day and fizzles out the next.

6/ With B2B, you have a clear execution path. You don’t have to mess around with virality. There are known ways to execute on marketing, sales, and integration engineering, which is why lots of enterprise startups have the same team structures despite selling different products.

7/ I expanded on this in much greater detail on the Atrium blog: Why I Love B2B over B2C